|My grandmother, expecting my father.|
Days before, while my father's voice had choked out the sad news across the phone line, my first morning urine worked away in a vial on the bathroom counter, turning the plastic stick an undeniable blue. My tears had sprung from sorrow but fell with joy.
At the funeral, the happy and the sad within me circled around and up and over each other, like ingredients in a recipe that refused to blend.
I was the firstborn child, the first grandchild, the first niece in my generation of our family. And my father was the firstborn in his generation. I counted the months on my fingers; the baby would be born right alongside my father's fiftieth birthday. The firstborn in the next generation.
I placed my hand flat against my abdomen as my father and uncles carried their mother's casket past me. Everyone always said I had my grandmother's small shoulders and tiny wrists. I could see a a baby's fat cheek resting on her shoulder. I could see warm formula tested on her wrist, on my wrist.
Later, I would share my secret with my grandfather, my parents, my brother and sister, my aunts, uncles, and cousins. But for those few moments, it was just us; two young women sipping tea, caught somewhere in a folded layer of time, whispering about the mysteries of birth and death and everything in between.